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Perceptions of methadone maintained clients about barriers and facilitators to help-seeking behavior.

  • Nyamathi, Adeline
  • Smith, Donna McNeese
  • Shoptaw, Steven
  • Mutere, Malaika
  • Cohen, Allan
  • Amrani, Israel
  • Morales, Louis
  • de Castro, Viviane
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
eScholarship - University of California
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BackgroundAmong substance users, health seeking remains a major challenge for which few data are available.ObjectivesWe sought to investigate the perceptions of methadone-maintained heroin users who are also problem or heavy drinkers, their barriers and facilitators to seeking help for substance and general and chronic care treatment.MethodsA qualitative design using a semistructured focus group approach was conducted with a convenience sample of 41 adult clients of a methadone maintenance facility in Los Angeles.ResultsFindings revealed that discrimination was a major challenge experienced as a result of their methadone status. Lack of primary care providers, limited access to health care facilities and access barriers were pervasive. Focus group participants expressed a desire for nonjudgemental and empathetic care that would foster respect and facilitate help-seeking behaviors through a comprehensive support system.ConclusionsThe need to design culturally relevant training programs was evident which included an integration of treatment, communication and societal issues.

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